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Year-Round Ruling Upsets Some Parents

Posted May 3, 2007

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— A court order blocking the conversion of 22 Wake County schools to a year-round calendar left scores of parents fuming Thursday, saying they had already rearranged their schedules to prepare for the shift.

Superior Court Judge Howard Manning issued a 35-page decision Thursday in a lawsuit by a group of parents opposed to the year-round conversion plan. He said the school district must get parental consent before assigning students to year-round schools.

The WakeCares group of parents claimed the ruling was a victory for families, but many parents and students said they looked forward to switching to year-round schedules because it would mean less crowding in classrooms.

"We don't have enough room in our school. We've lost our art room. We've lost our music room. It's art on a cart. It's music on a cart. It's crazy, and I'm really angry about it," said Erin Simanskis, a parent at High Croft Drive Elementary School, which was slated to convert to a year-round school.

Simanskis and other parents said they were prepared for the change, but now are worried that they have no options. The deadline to apply to Wake County magnet schools has already passed, they said.

"We don't know what we're going to do. Our options are pretty much over. To us, (year-round) was the lesser of three evils," parent Natalie Garfield said.

Without year-round schools, district administrators have suggested moving to split shifts to accommodate skyrocketing enrollments. That would mean some students would go to class from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., while others attend school from 1:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

"Am I going to have to leave my place of employment and pick up my son at 2:30 in the afternoon and take him to school? Then he's getting home at 8 o'clock at night. These parents who pushed to block year-round school might get something worse," parent Tracey Coleman said.

"If we have to go split shifts and we get we the late shift, what do we do about after-school hockey, horseback riding and soccer? All these extracurricular activities, they'll come to an end," Simanskis said.

Some parents said they are considering home-schooling their children, while others said they are thinking about applying to private schools.

55 Comments

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  • jabuke May 4, 2007

    Several of you have asked how year-round accommodates more students. Here's how. Imagine you have 100 students, and you divide them into 4 groups (tracks) of 25 each. Send 3 of the tracks (75 students) to school for three weeks, and leave Track 4 home on break. On the fourth week, send the first group (Track 1) home on break, and bring Track 4 to school and put them in the classroom where Track 1 was. Keep tracks 2,3 and 4 in school for three more weeks, then send Track 2 home and bring Track 1 back in. This continues in a rotation with each track being in class for approximately 9 weeks and out on break for 3. In essence, you are educating 100 students in the space for 75 students, or at 33% additional capacity.

  • superman May 4, 2007

    I have two grandchildren and they both attend year-round schools by choice. Each one goes to a different school is opposite directions from their house. Each one is bused to school and picked up every day by one or both parents. And to complicate things-- they are on a different track. But the kids and the parents like the year-round system. Students are in every classroom every day for almost the entire 12 months-- utilizing "every" classroom. With a shortage of schools and the large number of students-- it does not make economic sense to allow schools to remain empty 2 months every summer. How would you like to have rental property that you dont collect rent on for 2 months every year? I dont understand how year-round works but it certainly makes sense to use the schools 12 months a year. School buildings are a huge investment and need to be utilized 100per cent. Some public schools now house public libaries-- killing two birds with one stone which is a great idea for the co

  • me-in-raeford May 4, 2007

    hondaman...although your post answers the "give it back to the city" question that I didn't ask...it doesn't answer the "how many more children can attend the same number of schools and classrooms by changing to year round" question.

    I'm not being a smart alec here...I truly would be interested in knowing if Year Round does actually allow more children to attend the same number of schools...and if it does how does that work?

    the majority of the argument I've seen for "year round school" has someone been tide to the idea that more children would be able to attend with less crownding, etc...but no one has explain how that works...

  • superman May 4, 2007

    Some of you are probably newcomers to the area. Years ago- some of the large cities had their own school system-- Raleigh had its own system-- and then they decided to combine Raleigh and Wake County-- I guess to cut out some of the top administators and to cut cost. I believe the legislature had to approve the consolidation. The BOE has had a bad time between parents, judges, and least of all the County Commissioners who want to control the schools -- they already control the funding and have withheld funds. It is difficult to plan when everyone is tearing apart everything the School Board is trying to do. The school board is not a paying position. Any of you who can do better and can take the abuse should run for office.

  • me-in-raeford May 4, 2007

    at the risk of sounding completely stupid...and admitting up front I have no children in school...I have a question

    How or why would more children be able to attend year round school as opposed to traditional school?

    I mean, regardless of which one it is...doesn't it still mean one child for one desk for one classroom for one teacher for one school...and when that child isn't in school what happens? Does another child go instead...like the shifts they are talking about, only instead of half days they go half months?

  • Steve Crisp May 4, 2007

    Private schools serve the needs for (generally) five types of students. Those who are geniuses and are being held behind in public schools, those whose parents fear for the safety of their kids in public schools, those whose children are behaviorally problematic, those who are capable but who need extra attention, and those who desire religious training in addition to academics.

    Look at that list carefully. Then explain to me why public schools can not satisfy the needs of those five types of students under the current structure? Is it not their job to provide excellent and safe educations? If they could, private schools would have no reason to exist.

  • PFK May 4, 2007

    A few questions here? Who really believes the BOE when they threaten to go split? I don't. That would mean double the teachers and salarys .Do they have that much money?
    2nd. I want to stay traditional. It sounds like the board wants us to think we have a choice. But I have a school close to me that I considered switching to BUT I can't go there OH NO...I would have to drive another 20 miles or so to the school the BOARD says I should go to. I am all for YR for those who want it.But they are the ones who want change so I think THEY are the ones who should do the driving.

  • mslisac363 May 4, 2007

    This group of people are the ones with money. If these parents know better let their children go to school on first come first serve. Steve Crisp you say the only smart people attend private schools, but that's bull and private school are only have elite people until they have to enter into the real public world. Either you are smart or your not. Some of the poorest kids attending pulic schools have grown up to be some of the richest. Most private schools are for people's children that they think are better than the rest. Private schools put stupid kids out in the world also.

  • tmlcary May 4, 2007

    I am shocked that a judge has allowed a comparatively small group of people to selfishly make a decision that affects so many people. If the Board of Education doen't have the power to set rules for the school district, who does?

  • RMC10 May 4, 2007

    RMC10 Part #2

    Additionally YMCA child care for YR would have taken 1/3 of my part time salary. On a traditional school schedule YMCA summer camps took a much smaller portion of my salary.

    So am I glad about Judge Manning's ruling YOU BETCHA!

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